Templates, and Motifs
Fiction is itself a genre, of course, a type or form of literature, of
fiction, with distinctive, identifiable characteristics, its own conventions
and formulae, its own sub-genres,
its own motifs, and its own iconography.
New World Dictionary defines generic as: of, applied to, or referring
to a whole kind, class, or group; inclusive or general.
But "generic" can also mean (WNWD's
second meaning) "without a brand name." Several years ago a publisher/marketer,
aware of both meanings, released--at Christmas as I recall, and about the
same time that "generic" drugs" became part of the national consciousness--a
series of "generic" books: genre books with plain white (generic)covers,
each with a title like "Generic Western," "Generic Horror," "Generic Science
Fiction." Below each title appeared a generic guarantee: "Guaranteed
to include a cowboy, an Indian, a bad guy in a black hat, a horse, a runaway
stagecoach, etc." (on the Western, of course). I don't recall precisely
what the generic SF novel's guarantee said, but I would imagine that it
probably made mention of space travel, robots, the future, time travel.
Science Fiction is a genre of course but
it is hardly generic (in the WNWD's second sense). The question
of SF as a genre is, of course, a major topic of this course. On this page
you will find materials to assist you in your own consideration.